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Cheltenham Festival: Special Envoi Allen eases burden on Gordon Elliott

ENVOI ALLEN lived up to the hype with a superb display in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Unbeaten in seven starts heading into the Festival, including in the Champion Bumper last season, the Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old quickened impressively and powered to a four-and-a-quarter-length win under Davy Russell in the opener. Stablemate Easywork was second.

Elliott said of the 4/7 favourite (pictured): ‘He was our best chance of the week so there was big pressure on us. Everyone was here to see him.

‘He jumped and when he got to the front, he did what he had to do. Davy said they went a proper gallop and he showed how good he is.’